A fifth of UK energy suppliers keep customers on hold for an average of more than 10 minutes, according to new data from consumer champion Which?.
The worst provider was Scottish Power, which left customers waiting 21 minutes 24 seconds on average, 20 minutes slower than the quickest company, So Energy, which answered calls in 38 seconds.
Last year Scottish Power was the fastest of the Big Six to answer calls, with an average time of 3 minutes 29 seconds.
Challenger brand Bulb, which had the quickest response times two years ago, kept customers on hold for an average of 19 minutes two seconds.
It was also responsible for the longest single call waiting time of 41 minutes 48 seconds, which is longer than it would take someone living in Harlow to get to Bulb’s Liverpool Street headquarters.
In under five years the firm has enjoyed meteoric growth, with more than 1m customers and a 5 per cent share of the UK market.
Avro Energy, Boost, Engie, Green Network Energy, Utilita, and Utility Point also had waiting times longer than 10 minutes.
5 fastest response times
|So Energy||0 minutes 38 seconds|
|Together Energy||0 minutes 41 seconds|
|Flow Energy||0 minutes 45 seconds|
|Ebico||0 minutes 50 seconds|
|Ampower||0 minutes 57 seconds|
5 slowest response times
|Scottish Power||21 minutes 24 seconds|
|Bulb Energy||19 minutes 2 seconds|
|Utility Point||18 minutes 5 seconds|
|Boost||17 minutes 35 seconds|
|Utilita||15 minutes 44 seconds|
Among the Big Six, only EDF and British Gas had waiting times under five minutes, with three minutes two seconds and four minutes 19 seconds respectively.
Along with So Energy, four suppliers answered calls in less than a minute: Ampower, Ebico, Flow Energy and Together Energy.
There were also twelve suppliers who offered a live chat platform. Of these, Spark Energy was the fastest, taking just 30 seconds to respond, and British Gas the slowest with seven minutes and 14 seconds.
For the study, each provider was called 12 times at different times of the day and on different days of the week to calculate the average call waiting time.